From today's NY time, a description of various Republican presidential candidates' take on the events in Charleston
"Former Gov. Rick Perry of Texas described it as an accident. Senator
Rand Paul of Kentucky and former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania
suggested it was an assault on religion. Former Gov. Mike Huckabee of
Arkansas said that spirituality was the salve for racism. And Gov. Bobby
Jindal of Louisiana, who has not yet officially announced his
candidacy, said the motives behind the attack were a police matter."
Are they stupid or just depraved?
This time the neurosurgeon got it right. Ben Carson writes in USA TODAY
everything is about race in this country. But when it is about race,
then it just is. So when a guy who has been depicted wearing a jacket
featuring an apartheid-era Rhodesian flag
allegedly walks into a historic black church and guns down nine
African-American worshipers at a Bible study meeting, common sense leads
one to believe his motivations are based in racism. When a survivor of
the ordeal reports that the killer shouted before opening fire, "You rape our women and you're taking over our country. And you have to go" — well, that sounds to me a lot like racial hatred.
call this sickness what it is, so we can get on with the healing. If
this were a medical disease, and all the doctors recognized the symptoms
but refused to make the diagnosis for fear of offending the patient, we
could call it madness. But there are people who are claiming that they
can lead this country who dare not call this tragedy an act of racism, a
hate crime, for fear of offending a particular segment of the
We know what's at stake here,
so let's stop all the interpretive dance around the obvious. Was it a
depraved act of violence? Of course. Was it an act of unspeakable evil?
Affirmative. Was it an attack on innocent Christians? Manifestly so.
Is this killer a sick individual? In my professional opinion, yes, he
is. What is his sickness? It's the sickness of racism, a spiritual
sickness that distorts the mind and heart and causes irrational and
baseless fear and hatred in people of all colors. Racism was once
epidemic in America, but through struggle, sacrifice, soul-searching and
meaningful social change, we have made much progress. Clearly, the
struggle is far from finished, and we must own up to that fact and that
an event of this magnitude occurs in the middle of an election cycle,
politicians are often quick to try to score political points, look for
scapegoats and easy answers. That's the lowest common denominator of
politics at a time when we need true leadership. Now is the time to
abandon political expediency and seize this opportunity to demonstrate
what we are really made of as a people, as a great country. We have
come together in times of crisis, and we have risen to the test time and
time again. We are a people whose courageousness has consistently
triumphed over fear. We can come out stronger on the other end of this
terrible tragedy, and we can heal this sickness that is crippling our
nation. I know we can. But first we have to face the facts."